Frequently Asked Questions
What does a long-term nurse do?
Long-term care nurses focus on providing care to patients who need extended care. Some patients are those suffering from debilitating injuries and illnesses, such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. These nursing professionals also care for elderly patients who need regular medical care or may be unable to care for themselves any longer.
Long-term nurses generally focus on medical care for their patients. They may monitor vital signs and administer medications. Long-term nurses may also perform other therapeutic and treatment procedures, such as massages and range-of-motion exercises.
In addition to administering medical care, these nurses may be responsible for assisting their patients with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, toileting and dressing.
Nursing professionals play an essential role in providing long-term care for patients and their loved ones. In addition to medical and personal care, they may provide insight on dealing with a disability or give family members emotional support during challenging times.
Is long-term care nursing stressful?
Long-term care nursing staff report high levels of burnout, so it is safe to say this is a stressful field. Research on nurses at long-term care facilities indicate the demands of the job, when added to personal stress, can lead to emotional exhaustion and lower feelings of personal accomplishment. However, long-term care nurses who felt supported by supervisors, friends and family, and who had opportunities for nurturing, fared better. They felt less emotionally taxed and reported higher levels of personal accomplishment..
What is the difference between skilled nursing and long-term care?
As nursing care has changed, so have the settings in which it is administered. Today, most skilled nursing facilities are also rehabilitative and long-term care facilities. The term “skilled nursing facility” refers to a medical center that offers 24-hour care by licensed professionals, such as registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), occupational, physical and speech therapists. A physician may also oversee the care of each patient.
People may need skilled care for a short period of time after recovering from an illness or surgery, or they may need this level of care long term. Skilled care can include wound care, medication given by injection, IV therapy, physical and speech therapy, and a need for a person to be on a monitor, such as a heart monitor.
Long-term care facilities are often part of a skilled medical facility. They are for patients that require hands-on care and supervision 24 hours a day but may not require more intense skilled nursing care.
Is long-term care the same as assisted living?
Long-term can refer to both assisted living or care in a nursing home. The difference is the setting. A nursing home is a more clinical setting for personal medical care. An assisted living facility, on the other hand, provides care in a setting that is more home-like and social.
Medicare will often pay for skilled services for a set period of time and within certain boundaries, but it does not generally cover assisted living costs. Skilled nursing facilities are licensed and carefully monitored. You may check a skilled nursing facility's rating on Medicare.gov.
What are the types of long-term care facilities?
There are four main types of long-term care facilities for the elderly: independent living facilities, assisted living communities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities. The main difference between these types of facilities is how much care a patient needs.